For more than two centuries, most members of the United States Congress have served the American people in a true and faithful manner. Unfortunately, the 109th Congress has been marred by the ethical and legal scandals of Republican Congressmen Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham, Mark Foley, and today, by the guilty plea of Bob Ney. Their actions do a disservice not only to the constituents that elected them, but to Congress itself. These acts of impropriety shake the confidence that Americans have in their legislative body and illustrate the extent of the Republican culture of corruption and arrogance of power that is pervasive throughout the House. Special-interest influence, secret legislating, lobbyist gifts, and revolving doors have compromised the integrity of Congress and the legislative process.

Ending this Republican culture of corruption that has favored the special interests over the interests of the American people is a top priority of House Democrats. It is long past time to drain the swamp of corruption. Democrats' New Direction for America, based on the principles of honest leadership, bipartisanship, and fiscal discipline, will address the urgent concerns of the American people while restoring civility and integrity to the U.S. Congress. Through bipartisan administration of the House, Democrats will work to re-establish regular order for legislation, and secure the rights of the minority - regardless of which party is in the minority.

With our Honest Leadership, Open Government proposal, Democrats will end the unfair special interest influence, reform the legislative process, and ban gifts and travel from lobbyists. We will return the People's House to the marketplace of ideas that works for all Americans, not just the privileged few.